Mauritius

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MAURITIUS is a small island located off the east cost of Africa. A former French colony, it is a member of the British Commonwealth.

Profile

Country Number (21) 1966 FIRST WAVE
Region Africa Commonwealth
Television commenced June 1964
Colour System 1973 SECAM
Population 1966 750,000
TV Sets 1966 4,000
Language/s English and French


Television Stations / Channels

Mauritius began its television service in 1964.

There is just one television station: Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation. The station was established with the assistance of TIE Ltd.

Colour transmissions began in 1973 using the SECAM colour broadcast system.


Language/s

The principal languages of Mauritius are French and English. Television broadcasts were in both or either language (possibly supported by subtitles).

Doctor Who aired in English.


DOCTOR WHO IN MAURITIUS

Mauritius was the 21st country to screen Doctor Who (see Selling Doctor Who).


BBC Records

Mauritius is named in the list of 27 countries in The Making of Doctor Who (1972 Piccolo edition).

The Seventies records a sale of "(15)" stories by 28 February 1977. The Handbook identifies these as being: A, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S.

In DWM, Mauritius is identified in 16 story Archives: the same as above, but omitting A, and adding B.

It's clear from the listings that a combination of both publications gives an accurate record: however, as the listings show, R did not air.


Stories bought and broadcast

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Sixteen stories, 75 episodes (but note the out of order sequencing of three stories) (*):

Doctor Who – Nouvelle série de science fiction... , 21 October 1966
A An Unearthly Child 4
B The Daleks 7
C Inside the Spaceship 2
D Marco Polo 7
E The Keys of Marinus 6
G The Sensorites 6
H The Reign of Terror 6
L The Rescue* 2
F The Aztecs* 4
K The Dalek Invasion of Earth 6
M The Romans 4
N The Web Planet 6
J Planet of Giants* 3
P The Crusade 4
Q The Space Museum 4
S The Time Meddler 4

Mauritius therefore bought GROUP A, B and C (bar one story) of the standard package of William Hartnell stories, although some played out of order.

Although The Chase is recorded as being sold to Mauritius, the fact that it is absent from the TV listings indicates it wasn't actually broadcast. The fact that Mauritius screened Doctor Who during 1966 and 1967, which was when the BBC had placed a moratorium on the sale of Dalek stories, might explain why The Chase was absent from the schedule. (They might have 'bought' the serial, but was later informed that it was not actually able to be screened.)

The programme was supplied as 16mm black and white film prints with English soundtracks.


Origin of the Prints?

The first five serials may have been supplied by Nigeria.

However, the only other country in east Africa to screen the exact same set of 53 episodes was Zambia.

But since Mauritius was part of the TIE Ltd network, the films of the first eleven serials may have been sent from Kenya (again, with a few delays), whereas the other five serials could have been sent new from TIE Ltd.

Of interest is that Mauritius aired certain stories way out of order. As it so happens, Mauritius started airing the stories from The Aztecs onwards soon after the BBC had created fresh Stored Field telerecordings of the season one and two serials; the out of order screening for some of the season one stories may be attributed to the MBC screening the stories in the same order in which the BBC made the prints and sent them out.


Transmission

WILLIAM HARTNELL

Doctor WHO: "Paris", 16 June 1967

The series started on Friday, 21 October 1966, at 6.33pm. It completed its run 75 weeks later, on 29 March 1968. Episode five of The Keys of Marinus is listed twice: 7 and 14 April, indicating it was pre-empted.

The Aztecs, The Rescue and Planet of Giants screened out of sequence, per the table above.

The timeslots ranged from 6.25pm to 6.33pm.

As noted below, some of the listings go awry for 18 weeks. If we took those all at face value, then the first episodes of Planet of Giants and The Dalek Invasion of Earth aired together, followed by The Aztecs, then the remaining five episodes of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, while part four of The Romans didn't air, nor part two of The Web Planet.

We have made an attempt to make sense of what we think did screen on the dates when the listing was clearly wrong.

There is no clear record that Doctor Who screened on Mauritius again, even after the introduction of colour.

Fate of the Prints

According to a posting to a Doctor Who fan forum on 27 December 2006 – HERE - Mauritius returned all the episodes to the BBC.

However, that comment may only apply to some of the episodes that had been retained; it's possible all the serials, or just from The Romans onwards were sent to Sierra Leone.

(Or the MBC did send everything back to the BBC, who then sent the films to Sierra Leone...)

(The next country serviced by Television International Enterprises Ltd / TIE (Programmes) Ltd to air that same group of episodes – and indeed the last ever - was Ethiopia some two years later, in 1970.)


TV listings

Airdates in Mauritius
← AIRDATES ...... (CLICK ICON TO GO TO TABLE SHOWING EPISODE BREAKDOWN AND AIRDATES - N/S = listing Not Specific)
Doctor WHO: and the Romans, part 3, 10 November 1967
Doctor WHO: The Space Meseum (sic), part 2, 16 February 1968

TV listings have been obtained from the French newspaper Le Mauricien.

The listings sometimes capitalise part of the title as "Doctor WHO". Episode titles were always given in English. (Listings for programmes were in English or French; presumably those with French titles were broadcast exclusively in that language - for example see the image on this page for 16 June 1967, which has Doctor WHO and The Avengers listed in English, but the other listings are in French.)

The brief description given for first episode was in French: "Nouvelle série de science fiction avec Dr Who, sa petite fille Susan et ses deux élèves: Ian Chesterton et Barbara Wright", which translates as "New science fiction series with Dr Who, his granddaughter Susan, and her two pupils, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright" (in which case they completely mistook the actual relationship between Susan, Ian and Barbara!)

As noted in Transmission above, for an 18 week period from 21 July to 17 November 1967, the listings were out of sync with what should have been airing that week, an 'error' that corresponds with when the stories began to screen out of order. The listings errors are either printing / clerical mistakes, or they do indeed reflect the actual screening order, which does mean two episodes aired twice, and two didn't screen at all!

With part two of The Web Planet, the listings fell back into sync with what should have been on screen. In our Airdates table, we have noted what we think actually aired on that date when it's clear the listed title is wrong.

Some of the published titles were incorrect, such as The Daleks episode two being billed as "The Survivals"; part two of Inside the Spaceship printed as "The Bunk of Disaster"; part one of Marco Polo was "The Side of the World", part three was "Five Hundred Edges", and part five was "Rider from Shan". Episode two of The Reign of Terror was given as "Paris". (This error is likely due to the first caption to appear on screen - "PARIS" - being misread as the episode's title.) Part two of The Romans is "All Words Lead to Rome"; the final part of Planet of Giants was printed as "Crsiis".

Interestingly, part three of The Romans had the full title as: "Doctor WHO: Dr Who and the Romans: The Conspiracy", while "Dr Who and the Crusade" is used with three of the listings for that story. "Doctor Who and the Space Museum" is also named in full three times. (Although part two was written as "Meseum".)


Mauritius in Doctor Who

  • Sure, it's a stretch, but the first Doctor travelled with Dodo (Dorothea Chaplette); the now extinct dodo bird was indigenous to Mauritius.


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